After Hours News
Connecting the World With a Virtual Reunion
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has kept us from meeting in person, RAH joined with all four of its former exchange students in its first worldwide meeting.
6 pm in La Crosse. 1 am in Austria, Italy and Poland. 7 am in Taiwan.
A typical Tuesday evening RAH meeting became a first for the club as four former youth exchange students joined from their respective homes. The virtual event gave both the students and members a chance to reconnect with friends and get a global perspective on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to questions from Laura, club members learned how different countries are managing lockdown orders. From relative easing due to quick action in Taiwan to more gradual lifting of restrictions in places like Italy, the students shared their struggles and how they're keeping busy. A current outbound exchange student living in Taiwan also shared how she's coping with remaining a world away from friends and family in the Coulee Region.
The students also touched on some of the things they miss from their time in La Crosse. From favorite restaurants like Buzzard Billy's and Huhot to RAH events like the Ugly Sweater and Hixon maintenance efforts, some even said they miss the Wisconsin winters.
RAH invites our friends from around the world to join us for future virtual meetings and in-person visits to La Crosse, whatever the season, when the time comes to meet again.
sHARk Tank results
After clever pitches and a close contest, one sHARk Tank proposal rides the wave of success to a possible District Matching Grant
Three equally worthy projects swam with the sHARks at RAH's May 26 meeting, all vying for a bite at up to $5,000 funding from the club and a possible District Matching Grant to double the total. After the virtual pitches and voting, the plan to purchase a 15-passenger van for The Good Fight Community Center knocked-out the competition.
From silver screen dreams to a pitch that packed a punch and an actual mock-Shark Tank episode, the event provided entertainment, education and opportunity. Here's a quick summary of the projects:
The Moonlight Cinema: A drive-in movie experience staffed by VARC inc. clients providing jobs for 9 to 27 people and entertainment for an estimated 1,500 families in summer of 2020 alone
Driving the Good Fight Forward: Purchase a 15 passenger van for The Good Fight Community Center allowing them to better educate and support under-served young people in the La Crosse area
Disaster Supply Trailer: Partner with a number of other Rotary clubs to fund and supply a trailer packed with tools and cleaning materials that can be deployed to any disaster scene at a moment's notice
Using ranked-choice voting, The Good Fight project ended up as the clear front-runner with 51% of respondents making it their top choice. Both The Moonlight Cinema and Supply Trailer tallied about 24% of the first choice votes. The Supply Trailer ended up with a slightly higher second-choice response, collecting 36% to The Moonlight Cinema's 33%.
Feedback from respondents shows a desire to try to support all of these projects in some way. Many also praised those who presented the ideas and called for using the sHARk Tank as a fun way to promote future projects.
RAHtarians in the News: Food Drive Fridays
Extra! Extra! RAH's own President-Elect Marissa Dickinson made the paper (above the fold!) for service.
For seven weeks in April and May, Rotarians and volunteers shared two hours of what would be their Friday lunch to give back to those facing food insecurity. Dickinson, along with a handful of other RAH members collected food and monetary donations for the Hunger Task Force.
The efforts proved extremely successful. The seven-week total amounts to 68,189 pounds of food (that's more than 34 tons!) and a generous $309,586.
"Name another community that could do this!" said Pat Stephens. "A personal thanks to each of you that helped to make this possible. Your donated time was obviously time well spent."
Stephens added that the Hunger Task Force passed along their thanks noting that they will be able to help thousands of people keep food on the table during a difficult time.
Thanks to Alyssa Frank for noticing this picture in the Coulee Courier!
Social above self: seeking content creator
With the transition to a new Rotary year ahead, RAH is looking for someone to lead our social media efforts
RAH is currently seeking someone interested in maintaining and expanding our social media presence. Currently, duties are mainly handled by President-elect Marissa Dickinson, who will be making the transition into the busy leadership position.
This is an opportunity for someone who enjoys creating high-quality social media content from our various meetings, service and social events to help share our Rotary story. Ideal candidates should have some knowledge of social media marketing and trends. However, the only qualifications are an active profile and desire to put your posts into Service Above Self.
If you are interested in assisting or know someone who would excel in this role, contact Marissa. To see examples of our social content, visit the RAH Facebook page.
UPDATE: Dave Knutson Youth Sponsorship Award
Dave's presence is greatly missed, but we celebrate him with the announcement of the "David Knutson Youth Sponsorship Award."

Happy Heavenly Birthday to our friend David Knutson.

Through many generous donors, our club has raised $4200, allowing us to establish a fund that will provide an annual student sponsorship to RYLA in Dave's memory.

On December 16th, 2019, Dave passed away unexpectedly from a health condition. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of La Crosse - After Hours with a passion for supporting Rotary youth programs. From 2015 to 2019, he attended our district's Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp. RYLA is an annual leadership camp for high school students and was one of Dave's favorite weekends of the year.

The scholarship will honor his legacy of supporting the youth of our community, while continuing to provide opportunities for students into the future. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed in memory of Dave and all he did in the name of Rotary.

Happy 40th Dave. We miss you.

Upcoming Events
Club Meeting: Reflections on the Past Rotary Year & more
The Waterfront Banquet Room & Virtual Option
Jun 22, 2021
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
RAHk the Rotary Year at Top Shots
Top Shots Pool & Darts
Jun 22, 2021
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Riverfest Fencing
Riverside Park
Jun 28, 2021
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Riverfest Volunteering
Riverside Park
Jun 30, 2021 – Jul 04, 2021
Public Image Committee Meeting
Jul 06, 2021
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
View entire list
Board of Directors & Officers
President Elect
President Elect Nominee
Immediate Past President
Secretary Elect
3-Year Director 20/21
Past Secretary
1-Year Director
Membership Chair
Public Relations/Social Media
Service Projects
Foundation Chair
Youth Exchange Officer
Youth Protection Officer
Youth Exchange Counselor